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IN THE EVENT OF A HURRICANE WARNING

Once a Hurricane Warning is issued, you should quickly complete the steps necessary to prepare for a Hurricane Watch, if you haven’t already.  Your family disaster plan should be in full effect.  Here are some things to take care of once a warning goes into effect.

Important Things to Note

  • Listen to the advice of local officials.  If they are advising evacuation, you should strongly consider evacuating before conditions worsen.  If evacuation is ordered, by law you have to obey.
  • Be on alert for tornadoes, which can occur both during a hurricane and after it passes over.  Remain indoors, in the center of your home, away from windows and glass.
  • Stay away from flood waters.  If you are evacuating and come across a flooded road, turn around and find a passable route.  If you become trapped on a flooded road, exit your vehicle immediately and climb to higher ground.

If You Plan to Stay at Home

  • Turn off the main gas valve.
  • Sterilize, and then fill water containers, sinks and bath tubs.  Once finished, turn off the main water valve to house.
  • Lock all windows and doors, and close drapes/blinds.
  • Lower awnings or secure storm shutters.
  • Make sure a standard (not cordless) phone is plugged in and near the safest area of your home.  Keep the phone lines open, using phones only for emergencies. 
  • Ensure waterproof containers that secure your important documents (insurance papers, medical records, property inventories, photo ID cards, etc.) are with you.
  • Turn off electricity at the main box before the storm hits, and then use flashlights.  Make sure you have at least one for each adult, and plenty of extra batteries.
  • Stay indoors on a middle floor of your home, in the middle of the structure, away from windows and doors if possible.
  • During the storm, the safest position is sitting on the floor with your head tucked between your knees.  Place your arms over your head to shield yourself from flying or falling objects.
  • Beware of the calm conditions when the eye passes overhead.  Stay indoors until the entire storm has passed.

If You Plan to Evacuate

  • Turn off the main gas valve.
  • Sterilize, and then fill water containers, sinks and bath tubs.  Once finished, turn off the main water valve to house.
  • Lock all windows and doors, and close drapes/blinds.
  • Lower awnings or secure storm shutters.
  • It’s best to take your pets with you, especially if you are in a storm surge area, low-lying area, or mandatory evacuation zone.  If conditions are not favorable for humans, chances are your pet would not survive either.  Keep in mind that most shelters do not accept pets.  Make sure that you have proper identification for your pet, veterinary records, a crate, a secure collar and strong leash, as well as enough food and water.
  • Ensure that your vehicle has a full gas tank, and that your disaster supplies kit is loaded into the car.
  • Make sure you have your waterproof container with personal papers, photo ID cards, etc.
  • Plan to leave for the evacuation site, and arrive there, during daylight hours.
  • Drive safely to the evacuation site.
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